How CO2 Can Help Create Your Own Carbonated Beverage
Whenever you open a cold can of soda, (or beer for the more adventurous) one of the few things you hear from the beverage is that satisfying fizzy sound the bubbles make. You take a sip, and that bubbly, tingly taste from both the drink itself and even the bubbles fill your mouth with satisfaction. Whether you’re drinking a coke, lemon-lime, root-beer, or any other soft drink, you can hear and taste the bubbles inside the beverage. But when left unopened, you can’t see any bubbles whatsoever, at least not until you open it. Why is that? What makes those bubbles in the first place?
Bubbles and Carbonated Water
The source of those bubbles would be pressurized carbon dioxide mixed and dissolved into water. This creates a carbonated water solution. Once the can opens, the molecules in the CO2 escape, which in effect make bubbles run through the liquid and as they rise to the surface, they make that familiar fizzing sound. When the can is tightly closed, the CO2 molecules stay relaxed. They can’t move, as long as it’s closed, the bubbles won’t appear. If you shake the can when closed, it disturbs the molecules and they start to bounce around and creates internal pressure. At this point the internal pressure if very high, this is normally when either the can explodes or, which is why the soda suddenly spews out once you open it. Carbon dioxide is actually a vital ingredient that not only makes carbonated water, but even enhances the sodas flavor.
Make Your Own Carbonated Water
The first thing that comes to everyone’s mind when it comes to making soda are DIY soda makers you can buy at your local supermarket. Those gadgets have a mini CO2 tank. You put cold water in the water reservoir, push the button, and presto, that carbonates the water (or sparkling water). After that, you would add concentrated soda mix, and BAM! Instant soda! A delicious way to quickly make your own soda or sparkling water. The only downside to this is that you can’t control the pressure level in the CO2 bottle itself. It’s locked to a set pressure and it’s a bit low. Because of this, the taste of the soda is a bit modest compared to other familiar sodas today. The amount of pressure in the carbon dioxide itself can have a major impact on the taste of your soda.
If you want to make your own soda (maybe because your business requires it or because it could be a fun experiment), you will need your very own CO2 tank. A 20 lb CO2 tank can easily last you months or even a year (depending on the amount of liquid volume). To control the pressure, a CO2 tank regulator will be needed. For dispensing the CO2 to the water, you’ll want to get a carbonation cap and a ball-lock gas line assembly.